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The Mail Bag

European Qualification

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I think this is the toughest season for a long time in terms of quality opposition. The 'big three' and the RS are still way out in front due to their resourses and I imagine will take the top four slots at the end of the season. The Uefa Cup places will be much tougher this year with Man City, Blackburn, Villa and Pompey all playing consistantly well.

Add to that West Ham (with cash to burn and an improving injury list) Newcastle (surely the players & managers they have got they can't screw up forever) and Spurs (ditto) then if we take a Uefa Cup slot I think it 's a much greater achievement than last year. I doubt last year's squad would finish in the top eight this season such is the level of the competition...
John Pickles, Wirral     Posted 26/11/2007 at 21:20:42

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Robert Pierpoint
1   Posted 27/11/2007 at 09:29:06

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Totally agree, John. Thats why I believe that the League Cup is so vital for Everton this season. On the form that we are showing this is the ideal time to go to West Ham and win. We all kow that our London form is not always great but if we get through the quarters i would fancy us against anyone at home and then the final. Fancy having guaranteed euro football by March. Would be nice. Due to the fact that United are out and Liverpool play Chelsea it is unlikely that two of the top four will contest the final, meaning that seventh place will not get a place in the Uefa Cup, again making the task much more difficult.
Andy Ellams
2   Posted 27/11/2007 at 10:04:28

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I still think we will push for top 6. There’s always 1 or 2 sides slip away after Christmas and I fancy Pompey because they are really going to suffer during the African Championships and Villa because I think they have the least quality out of those clubs up there. Spurs are not going to get back into it this year, there is way too much damage to repair, West Ham don’t have enough goals in them and Newcastle, well they are just Necastle aren’t they. Very heavily dependant on two injury prone strikers and a poor defence. So all in all, I think Everton and Man City are the best bets with Blackburn pushing them hardest.
Andy McMahon
3   Posted 27/11/2007 at 14:38:13

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Only top 5 are guaranteed European Football. 6th or 7th depend on domestic cup finalists.
Jason Roberts
4   Posted 27/11/2007 at 22:18:06

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Andy, you?re right but remember that if it were the case this season that only the top 5 got European football, it would mean that none of the those 5 teams had won either of the domestic cups...surely we?d fancy our chances of winning at least one in that case?

And wasn?t the last time that a team apart from the ?big 4? won a cup 1995, when a certain blue team did it???

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